Ecuador to Galapagos (Day 2)

The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Sun 23 Feb 2014 13:59

22 February 2014   Bahia de Caraques to Galapagos, Ecuador (Day 2)


00:39.05S 084:20.53W

This was our position at 0800 on 22 February 2014.


The wind gradually dropped during the morning, so I dragged out our spinnaker.  It took us 30 minutes to rig it up, roll away the two head sails, remove the running backstay and get it flying.  Our new bowsprit worked well and kept the tack of the sail well away from the pulpit.  We were still on a close reach and ripped along at 5-6 knots in 7-10 knot winds in glorious sunshine.


By three o'clock in the afternoon, the wind had picked up a few knots, so I went up front to drop the spinnaker.  Glenys steered us downwind and I released the tack of the sail, so the spinnaker flew like a flag behind the mainsail.  I then pulled the sock down to douse the spinnaker, but as I was lowering the socked sail, the damn spinnaker halyard slipped off the winch and slid through my hand for a few metres until I grabbed it.


Fortunately, I stopped the spinnaker from falling into the sea, but I picked up a rope burn in the palm of my right hand.  I shoved the spinnaker into it's sail bag and left it clipped to the guard rail.  Back in the cockpit, Glenys gave me some "Burn Free" gel to put on the rope burn, which did a good job.  Twelve hours later, there weren't any bad blisters or pain - good stuff.


Our major entertainment of the day was trying to scare away a frigate bird that wanted to land on the top of our mast.  It gave up after ten minutes of circling around - probably because I've got an anti- bird spike on my windex, rather than our enthusiastic efforts to shoo it away.


We decided to swap watches, so Glenys served up a nice Cassoulet for dinner,  then went to bed leaving me on the 7-10 watch.  The wind picked up to 15 knots in the evening and veered 30 degrees putting us fairly hard on the wind, so I put a reef in the main and we flew along at 6.5 knots.  We continued to get stronger gusts and by one o'clock, we had a reef in the genoa as well to cope with 20 knot gusts over the deck.  Despite being hard on the wind, the motion was okay because the seas weren't very big - even with the reefs we were doing up to 7 knots.....


It was a lovely clear night, with bright stars and a quarter moon that came up just after midnight.  Now that we're on the equator, the "cut out" in the moon is horizontal, which looks very strange to me having lived in the northern hemisphere all my life (where the cut-out is on the side of the moon.)


The wind dropped to around 10 knots after daylight, so Glenys shook out the reef on the genoa and we bobbed along at 5.5 knots on a close reach.  I took advantage of the early 4-7 watch and had an extra hour in bed - luxury! 


At 0800, we'd done 220 miles, with a 24 hour run of 152 miles and 320 miles to go.